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Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-4769)

Jessica Rye
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(Phone: 321/867-2468)

April 22, 2004
 
RELEASE : S04-08
 
 
Space Shuttle Processing Status Report: S04-08
 
 
The Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. The order of the Space Shuttles in this report does not necessarily reflect the chronological order of future missions.

Discovery (OV-103)

Discovery passed two important processing milestones this week, as progress continues in preparation for the Return to Flight mission, STS-114, to the International Space Station. The left-hand Orbital Maneuvering System pod was installed yesterday. The nose cap could be reinstalled as early as tomorrow.

The nose cap was removed from the vehicle in the summer of 2003 and returned to the vendor, where it underwent numerous forms of Non-Destructive Evaluation. The tests included X-rays, ultrasound and eddy current to ensure structural integrity prior to installation on the vehicle. The nose cap was also recoated. When returned to KSC, new Thermal Protection System (TPS) blankets were assembled inside the nose cap and thermography was performed to document preflight conditions.

Atlantis (OV-104)

Atlantis is powered up in support of mission processing to prepare the Space Shuttle for flight to the International Space Station. Preparations continue for Rudder Speed Brake actuator removal. Panel removal is scheduled for early next month, followed shortly by actuator removal.

Build up of all 22 of the left-hand T-seals, the C-shaped seals that fit between each panel on the wings, is complete, and 19 have been installed. Right-hand panel assembly is ongoing, with eight of the 22 completed.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Space Shuttle Endeavour is in Orbiter Major Modification (OMM) period, which began in December 2003. Structural and wire inspections in support of the OMM continue in the forward, mid-body and aft.

X-rays of the four Rudder Speed Brake actuators, which were removed from the vehicle, showed all of the gears were correctly installed. The actuators were shipped to the vendor for a complete inspection. The vendor will begin inspections with actuators No. 1 and 3, followed by No. 2 and 4.

Previous Space Shuttle processing status reports are available on the Internet at:

http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/status/status.htm

For information about the NASA's Return to Flight efforts on the Internet, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/news/highlights/returntoflight.html


For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov


 

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